Disclaimer: I am a shy and introverted person who (if given a choice) would just listen to people talk instead of engaging in conversation (eek… especially small talk… the horror!). I am also emotional and Asian – the Filipino-Chinese type who grew up in the Philippines for most of my life. These are important things to remember as you read this article… or should I say… my story.
THIS IS IT! The most anticipated moment (in recent history) of my life. I’m going to meet my boyfriend’s parents! As that day came closer, I had sleepless and anxious nights of thinking and wondering… Will they or will they not like me? Will we get along? Will we find common ground? What will I talk about with them? How do I start a conversation? Who do I talk to more? What do I call them, tita and tito? Nooooo… maybe not. What should I call them? What?!? What should we bring to his family? What do they like? What if they are just so “American” and I am just so “Asian”? What if… What… What…? There were so many racing thoughts that finally culminated leading up to that day. Here we go…
THE DAY approached quickly. Time flies too fast. Before I knew it, we were suddenly boarding a plane for a 6-hour flight to Boston, an hour bus ride to New Hampshire… and we arrived! Or should I say I have arrived? I had tears in my eyes while being greeted, hugged, and warmly welcomed by my boyfriend’s father (IN PERSON! AHHHH!). Maybe, I was also teary-eyed because I watched my boyfriend being hugged by his mom so tightly. I could see and tell how much he is loved and missed by his family.
NOTE: If you are not familiar with the East Coast state of New Hampshire – it is a tiny state that is connected to Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. If you live in border towns, everything is around 30-40 minutes away.
Maybe, perhaps I was also missing my parents. While I hugged both of his parents, it warmed my uneasy heart so much that it calmed down (an itty bit). I just couldn’t stop smiling. CK (that is his name…yes, that is my boyfriend) made the introductions and off we went to have brunch in the oceanside town of Hampton, New Hampshire. During the car ride, his mama (as he loves to call her <3 ) was the one asking most of the questions while his father remained silent, you know, the “silent” type. Most of the time I was, of course, quiet (read the disclaimer) and thinking to myself that I couldn’t believe I was living in that moment.
While having brunch, his mama asked me what happened to my pink hair. Story time! I dyed my hair pink early on when I first met CK. As our relationship progressed, he would tell his family about me – the “woman with pink hair” whom he is dating (or should I say, “in love” with? LOL ;)). Apparently, during that time, he would send photos of me/us to his family!!! What’s funny is that before this trip, I scheduled an appointment with my hair stylist to consciously dye my hair to “ash brown” in order to look more “normal.” Well, hahaha! The joke’s on me! It turned out that they loved my pink hair and missed it! Oh, mama!
With our bellies full, we took a short walk along the beachfront and took photos (of course). Later on, we drove to Haverhill, Massachusetts where their old family house was where CK and his sister spent their childhood years. Now, it has been converted into rentals by his dad.
His parents showed me around and pinpointed places where CK used to play and such. It was so cute to find out that the property had two tall trees that started out very, very tiny. They were used as Christmas trees when CK and his sister, Dawn were young. His dad planted them in the backyard after the holidays, and now they’re both taller than all of them!
After a short tour, we finally took off to their current home in Danville, New Hampshire. If you think their old house has history… boy, oh boy… this current home is something else! It’s a whole volume of HISTORY BOOKS all rolled up in an afternoon tour! Their house sits on a property so big, we had to ride an ATV to tour it. The house itself bears so much history, my “nerd mode” activated. I eagerly absorbed all of the stories CK’s dad was telling me. From building the barn, the attic, and the basement… every nook and cranny of their home had stories to tell. At the end of the day, I told CK, “I thought your dad does not like to talk?! He talked to me the whole time during the tour!” CK replied, “That’s because he loves history and telling stories about things in this house. He especially likes telling them to you.” – Of course, I teared up so much when he said that, and even now as I write this… I felt fortunate to have his time, his knowledge, and his stories.
What a day it had been… and we have yet to meet CK’s sister, Dawn, and her family! She just gave birth to her son, Tanner, a month ago. He was also a big part of the reason why we decided to go home at this time because CK was so excited to meet his first nephew! Uncle CK was very excited! They finally came to the house and oh he is such a cute, cute, cute baby! Words are not enough to describe him! I noticed how very happy CK was, and how Tanner brought out so much love amongst each other. I also had the chance to touch and carry the baby! (Yay!)
The whole trip was so peaceful for me. Yes, I do think that “peaceful” is the best word to describe it. Perhaps it was the vibe of a small town place with green trees, land, and fresh air that evoked it, but I also think it is more than that. It is being surrounded by people who you know, feel love for, and being embraced and accepted by them. I am telling you… nothing could beat that feeling.
Fast forward to our last day… time to go back to the reality of Los Angeles, and boy was it hard to do. We stayed our last night at the Encore in Boston, so we could be within a close driving distance to the airport the next day. On our last day, his parents drove from New Hampshire to Boston to have brunch and then take us to the airport. When they arrived at the hotel, his dad gave me a surprise bouquet of peonies that he picked from their garden. Ohhhh… of course, I cried again! I loved the flowers, but I loved the gesture and the thought behind it even more. My heart was full. When they dropped us off at the airport, the final hugs were exchanged, tighter than ever. CK’s mom couldn’t help but shed some tears… and of course, so did I. I cried so many times recalling the events, I’ve lost count.
Looking back on the trip, all my anxiety was for nothing. His family not only more than accepted me, they embraced me with so much love and kindness. The feeling is indescribable. By knowing who CK is, it is a testament to seeing how his parents raised him and the environment where he grew up – I shouldn’t be surprised. My feelings prior to the trip were normal for someone who is meeting the parents for the first time. I realized that our cultural backgrounds were not a factor. It made us able to connect, share, and learn new things about each other. The greatest and most profound lesson I’ve learned is that nothing else truly matters when there is love. Love shared amongst us is worth more than anything.
For everything this trip represented, it meant answered prayers. Thank you, God.
I’ve never felt more at home, so I had to ask CK, “Can we stay here?”(Hahaha). His answer was, “No, Los Angeles is our home.” Oookkkaaayyy… but ya know you can never say never right? WE all know how life goes… 😉